A caretaker’s initial report that a 5-year-old boy was abducted from an Albany-area home before being found dead nearby hours later was false, New York police said Friday.
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple told local media at about 3 a.m. that the body of Kenneth White was found by a sheriff’s K-9 unit conducting a search in the rural hamlet of Clarksville, 10 miles southwest of Albany.
Authorities have identified a person of interest in the case but a name has not yet been released, Fox affiliate WXXA reported Friday.
Apple said the 19-year-old daughter of Kenneth’s legal guardian told police two men wearing black ski masks entered a house in the neighboring town of Berne, pinned the woman to the floor and took the child at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday. She told police the men drove off in a pickup truck.
Apple told WGY-AM on Friday morning that investigators determined the teen’s story was false. He said detectives were interviewing “a person of interest” who knew the boy, but Apple gave no other details.
A press conference by the Albany County Sheriff is expected at 1 p.m. Friday.
Kenneth’s mother lives elsewhere in New York and his father lives in Massachusetts, Apple said. Neither parent is the person being questioned by detectives, he said.
Apple said the boy has a twin sister and another sister.
News of the boy’s death shocked residents in the rural hill towns west of Albany, described by Apple as a close-knit area where everyone knows everyone.
“It’s horrific, it’s heart-wrenching,” Apple told the Albany radio station. “It’s certainly not the ending we were praying for.”
Kenneth lived in a red-and-white striped mobile home on a rural road in Berne. Police vehicles were parked outside the home Friday morning, blocking access to the road.
SOURCE: Fox News
The Associated Press contributed to this report.